Vaccines aren’t just for babies and children, or for preventing the spread of the flu.
“Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect people of all ages from potentially harmful diseases,” said Brittany Alloway, DO, of Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic – Lebanon.
Children do receive many immunizations between birth and age 6. And there are additional recommendations for older children and teens. But even if you receive
all your childhood vaccinations, the protection from some of these vaccines can wear off.
“People may also be at greater risk for certain diseases because of health and lifestyle conditions,” said Dr. Alloway.
In recent years, there have been meningococcal outbreaks on college campuses throughout Oregon. That’s why the meningococcal vaccination is recommended for older teens
and in some cases required for college students.
An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, and especially for people with chronic health conditions. Scientific studies support that the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and doctor’s visits each year. The best time to get the flu shot is in the fall before the virus is circulating. But there are still protective benefits if you get the shot later.
If your travel plans include a trip to a high-risk area, consider scheduling a travel consult with your primary care provider to discuss travel-specific vaccines and preventive medications.
“It’s good to be aware of any concerns based on your travel destination before you leave,” Dr. Alloway said.
For parents of school-age children, check with your primary care provider to learn what vaccines you or your family may need before the kids head back to school in the fall.
“That way you can be sure everyone is up to date on recommended vaccines,” Dr. Alloway said.
MyChart users can view and track their immunization records online. Visit samhealth.org/MyChart.